Yep. That’s right! I haven’t given it much thought before. Age isn’t a big deal to me, but when someone ask the age difference between my cousin and me and during that conversation we concluded I turn 40 this year, I started ruminating.
I spent most of my childhood with a broken heart. With love and respect to everyone in my life, the pain and (seeming) rejection of a mostly absent dad left a gaping bleeding wound. (I’m so grateful to be close to him now.)
Along with that, I always felt like a misfit among my peers. It wasn’t their fault. I was raised in a faith community where roles and rules were clearly defined and again, with all due respect, I did my best to fit the mold outwardly, but inwardly I could never find my place.
My early twenties were wrapped up in unhealthy relationships.
In my late twenties I met and married my amazing husband.
With the addition of two more biological children and becoming a foster mom, these littles and these past few years have given me purpose and mission. (Though none of them will ever replace our daughter, nor would we want/expect them too.) My husband has loved me imperfectly, but oh so beautifully, scars and all. And the love and mercy and grace of Jesus has overwhelmed me, completed me, seeped into every broken crevice and healed me.
I think about the clay pot I keep in frequent eyesight. The pot was broken, shattered in some places, and left lying in what seemed like ruin. But carefully, lovingly, the pieces have been glued back together. This pot is a beautiful analogy of my life; broken, scarred, pieced back together. The holes where the light shines through are where I pray my love, my joy, my empathy, and the light of Christ radiates into the brokenness of others, sharing the same healing and love I myself have received.
I have finally found my place, my loves, my identity, my life. I have embraced my uniqueness and realized I’m really not that different than most people afterall. I feel better physically, emotionally, and spiritually, than I ever have. I’m totally down with being me, having my own voice, singing my own song, writing my own script, without trying to fit into a box or mold others might expect for me.
I have earned every laugh line on my face. The emerging wrinkles and creases are “character marks,” each one has a story all their own.
I am not celebrating the absence of adversity or without the awareness of the frailty and uncertainty of life. I am celebrating the abiding, comforting, healing presence of Jesus, knowing that he has held me through a lifetime of pain and sorrow and he will continue to walk with me throughout my life journey.
I am celebrating healing, joy, peace, contentment, and fulfillment in spite of continued uncertainties, worries, and fears.
I’m glad someone reminded me early in the year that this is the big forty for me so I can live it up. I am ready to rock the big 40!